Kenneth Howard Jr. and Robert Baca, running for an uncontested judicial seat in McKinley County, N.M., both finished with 2,879 votes in the June 3 election. New Mexico state law mandates that electoral ties be determined by lottery, and on July 10, a local Democratic party official tossed a 50-cent piece to finalize the election.
Howard won the coin toss and, as there is no Republican challenger, the election.
Despite the statistical anomaly necessary for an electoral tie -- on the federal level a tie has never occurred -- according to the Washington Post, 35 states have laws requiring certain tied elections be determined by some form of lottery.
Some states require a coin toss, while others draw names from a hat; some have no specific instructions on how to handle the lottery.
Connecticut used to decide tied primaries by lottery until former Governor Jodi Rell signed legislation requiring a special election, saying at the time, "No candidate should have to worry that a tie would mean a coin-flip, and more importantly no voter should fear being disenfranchised."